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A few days ago, I received an email from Clear with details about a new limited-time offer. As part of a partnership with FoundersCard, Clear Plus members can sign up for a complimentary FoundersCard membership. Clear Plus members who sign up for this promotion will receive a complimentary year of FoundersCard membership. Once the promotional period ends, the complimentary membership will transfer over to a paid membership at a preferred rate.

This is a great promotion for Clear members who would otherwise not want to spend money on a FoundersCard membership as members receive a wide range of benefits including discounts on airfare, rental cars, and hotels. Here’s what you need to know about this offer and the FoundersCard program.

Update: Thank you to MDDCFlyer for confirming in the comments that this offer is indeed a targeted offer. The post has been updated to reflect that only select Clear Plus members are eligible for this promotion.

A screenshot from the FoundersCard website showing details about a the promotion with Clear. The header reads, "CLEAR Plus Member Exclusive: Enjoy 12 Months of Complimentary Access to FoundersCard Membership"

Now through the end of June, CLEAR Plus members can sign up for a complimentary FoundersCard membership for a year. (Image via FoundersCard)

Select Clear Plus Members Receive Free FoundersCard Membership for a Year

If you pay for a Clear membership, you are considered a Clear Plus member. A few years ago, when Clear expanded to offer free programs at select airports, it added the “Plus” to the name of its paid membership. So, in theory, this offer should be available to everyone who pays for a Clear membership.

Despite verbiage in the offer referring to Clear Plus members, this offer is not available to all members. It appears as though this offer is targeted to select Clear members that hold The Platinum Card from American Express, Delta Diamond Medallion status, or United 1K/Global Services status.

Related: What is Clear Security Screening?

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible?

To see if you are eligible for this promotion, check the email associated with your Clear account. If you are eligible for the free year of a FoundersCard membership, you will have received an email sometime around June 5th. As always, be sure to check your spam folder.

If you’re paying for Clear Plus and you didn’t receive an email, I recommend reaching out to Clear to inquire about the promotion. It appears as though the best way to reach someone at Clear is through the online chat function on the company’s website. It does appear that this is a targeted promotion so not all Clear Plus members will be eligible for this offer.

A screenshot of a promotional email from Clear about a FoundersCard membership promotion with text on the right that reads "Check the email associated with your Clear account to see if you're eligible."

If you’re eligible for a complimentary 12-month FoundersCard membership, you should have received an email from Clear around June 5th.

How Do I Sign Up?

To sign up for a free year of a FoundersCard membership, open the email you received from Clear and click the blue button that reads “Sign Up Today.” Once you click this button, you will be directed to the FoundersCard website. You can then choose to preview membership benefits or activate your complimentary year. When you click through to activate your free year, complete the necessary registration details. On the final page, you should see a Clear-specific code in the referral code box.

As your free year becomes a paid membership after 12 months, you will need to provide payment information to sign up for FoundersCard. You can always cancel your membership early or set a reminder to cancel your membership in 12 months.

How Much is FoundersCard Membership After The Promotional Period?

A standard membership comes with an annual fee of $595. Additionally, if you were to apply for a membership outside of the Clear Plus promo, there is also a one-time $95 initiation fee. There’s also an option to upgrade to the All-Access Elite tier which is $995 a year.

However, Clear Plus members receive a preferred rate should they choose to renew their membership after the promotional period. The preferred rate available to Clear Plus members is $395 a year.

What’s In The Fine Print of This Promotion?

Clear’s complimentary FoundersCard 12-month membership promotion is pretty straightforward. There are a few things to note when considering this offer. Here are the details:

  • New Customers Only: If you have previously been a FoundersCard member, through a paid or complimentary membership, you will not be eligible for this promotion. Only new customers can take advantage of the free 12-month membership. What’s not clear is whether or not existing FoundersCard members with a Clear Plus membership can take advantage of the preferred $395 annual fee.
  • Must Register By: Clear Plus members that want to take advantage of this promotion must activate the complimentary 12-month membership by June 30th.
  • Full Access: Despite the complimentary membership being a trial period, members who activate this trial membership will receive full access to FoundersCard benefits.

Ultimately, this is a pretty great promotion for Clear Plus members. A paid Clear membership has become less and less valuable and practical so getting a free FoundersCard membership for a year is a much-welcomed benefit.

CLEAR at Denver International Airport

CLEAR at Denver International Airport (Image by Max Prosperi / TravelUpdate)

What is FoundersCard?

If you’re not familiar with FoundersCard, it’s a membership program that markets itself as a community for entrepreneurs and professionals. Those who are part of this community receive exclusive access to events, discounts, and other benefits. Not to sound demeaning, but it’s somewhat of a luxury coupon book. Members pay to get access to exclusive discount codes and benefits.

I refer to FoundersCard as a luxury coupon book because the discounts and benefits available to members can be quite valuable. With FoundersCard, discounts can be pretty lucrative including up to 55% off with Virgin Voyages. Members can get some significant value from their membership. You’ll find a list of some of the top benefits offered to FoundersCard members below.

Current FoundersCard Benefits

BenefitDescriptionRequirements/Details
Virgin Atlantic Elite StatusReceive Flying Club Silver status after taking just one flight with Virgin Atlantic. You can then fast-track to Gold status after earning just 500 tier points within 6 months.Silver Status: Must complete 1 Virgin Atlantic flight

Gold Status: Earn 500 tier points within 6 months of earning Silver status
Airline Ticket DiscountsReceive up to 25% off airline tickets.- Alaska Airlines: Up to 5% Off
- British Airways: Up to 10% Off
- Delta Air Lines: Up to 10% Off
- Etihad Airways: Up to 10% Off
- Qantas: Up to 25% Off
- Qatar Airways: Up to 10% Off
- Singapore Airlines: Up to 15% Off
- United Airlines: Up to 16% Off
Hotel Elite StatusReceive elite status with select hotel chains. Some hotels offer status as part of a status challenge.Marriott Bonvoy: Platinum Status Challenge - Complete 15 paid nights in 3 months and receive Platinum status for a year

Hilton Honors: Receive complimentary Gold status through January 31, 2025

IHG One Rewards: Receive Gold status through December 31, 2024

Sonesta Travel Pass: Receive Gold status for one year

Caesars Rewards: Receive complimentary Diamond status
Rental Car Discounts and Elite StatusReceive up to 30% off rental car rates and receive elite status with select programs.Avis: 25% off rentals plus complimentary Avis Preferred Status

Go Rentals: Receive 30% off luxury rentals

Hertz: Up to 20% off rentals and receive complimentary Five Star status

Sixt: 15% off rentals and complimentary Platinum membership
Discounted Lounge AccessReceive 20% off airport lounge bookings with select lounge providers.20% Off Advanced Bookings with:
- The Club
- No.1 Lounges
- Plaza Premium
Cruise DiscountsReceive up to 55% off with select cruise lines.- Seabourne Cruises: Up to 40% Off
- Virgin Voyages: Up to 55% Off
Hotel ProgramReceive discounted rates and benefits during your stay at participating hotels.Discounts and special benefits vary depending on the property and the dates of your stay.
Other DiscountsReceive discounts with major retailers.Retailers and Services Include:
- Dell: Up to 40% Off
- Stripe: Up to $20,000 in fee-free payments
- UPS: Up to 47% Off Carrier Rates
- Office Depot: Up to 55% Off
- Adidas: Up to 30% Off
- Bang & Olufsen: Up to 15% Off
- Bose: Up to 15% Off

Those are just some of the benefits available to FoundersCard members. Additionally, should you elect to upgrade your membership to the elite tier, you will receive even more from your membership though at almost double the annual fee.

A Qantas Airbus A330 landing on a runway.

A FoundersCard membership comes with a variety of benefits including up to 25% Qantas fares. (Image via Qantas)

Should I Keep My Membership After 12 Months?

Ultimately, whether or not you should keep your membership active comes down to how much value you can get from the program. If you don’t have a rewards credit card that offers travel benefits and exclusive hotel rates, the Clear preferred rate of $395 could be worth it. Personally, I wouldn’t receive enough value from a FoundersCard membership even at $395 a year.

Many of the travel benefits offered with a FoundersCard membership are already available to me through The Platinum Card from American Express. Additionally, I already hold elite status with Hertz, Hilton, and Marriott so, it wouldn’t make sense to pay for the benefits I already receive.

It all comes down to how much value you can get from a paid membership. Some FoundersCard members can easily get more than $395 or $595 a year in value from their membership. Others, like myself, would not see a very good return on investment.

Related: TSA PreCheck vs. Global Entry vs. Clear

The Bottom Line

The new limited-time offer from Clear provides targeted Clear Plus members with a complimentary year of FoundersCard membership, offering access to numerous travel and business-related benefits. This promotion is a great opportunity for select Clear Plus members who might not want to pay for a FoundersCard membership.

To take advantage of this offer, eligible members should check their email and sign up by June 30th. After the promotional period, the membership will convert to a paid plan at a preferred rate of $395 per year. Whether to continue the membership depends on the value you get from the benefits offered by FoundersCard. However, if you already hold a premium travel rewards credit card, you will probably want to pass on paying for a FoundersCard membership.

Did you receive an email for this promotion? If so, will you take advantage of a free year of a FoundersCard membership?


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